Upton Connects with Biden, Optimism Grows in the Senate
There have been some important milestones in the effort to deliver #CuresNow, and momentum is building as evidenced by the $2 billion funding boost for NIH for FY 2016 last December, Senate movement on its innovation package starting next week, and the administration’s recently announced “moon shot.” POLITICO Morning Pulse reports of optimism in the Senate as “Sen. Lamar Alexander, the chair of the Senate HELP Committee, said President Obama’s ‘cancer moonshot’ funding request has a chance of becoming law as part of the Senate companion to 21st Century Cures.”
House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) is also in talks with Vice President Joe Biden on how to incorporate those ideas into the Cures effort, and looks forward to discussing it further when they are expected to meet in person next week. Upton told POLITICO, “The initial goal of his task force was to get it done by New Years, [but] we can’t wait… So I said, let’s take what we’ve already done … [and] let’s get it done by Memorial Day.”
#CuresIn4Words: Cures is gaining momentum. There’s no doubt about it.
February 3, 2016
LAMAR: MOONSHOT FUNDING HAS A CHANCE
Sen. Lamar Alexander, the chair of the Senate HELP Committee, said President Obama’s “cancer moonshot” funding request has a chance of becoming law as part of the Senate companion to 21st Century Cures. “For it to succeed in the Senate, it needs to be a part of our biomedical research bill, which we’re working on over the next 60 days and I think it can be,” Alexander told Jen. He indicated that the amount – and the “mandatory” funding label – is a “separate question but the goal is a good goal.”
UPTON ON CANCER MOONSHOT: I’M READY
It’s no huge surprise that House E&C Chair Fred Upton is ready to do whatever it takes to get his 21st Century Cures bill signed into law – including getting behind the Obama administration’s “moonshot” funding request. Upton told Pro’s Erin Mershon that he gave Vice President Joe Biden a commitment: If the Senate can get its counterpart out, Upton will make sure it gets through the House. In fact, Upton said he’s trying to speed up Biden’s timeline. “The initial goal of his task force was to get it done by New Years, [but] we can’t wait,” he said. “So I said, let’s take what we’ve already done … [and] let’s get it done by Memorial Day.” Upton added that he plans to meet with Biden on the issue next week.
Read the full morning newsletter here.
February 2, 2016
Upton Sees New Boost to 21st Century Cures Legislation
Congressman Fred Upton’s 21st Century Cures legislation may have found a new boost in the US Senate. The plan to expedite the approval process for new drugs and medical devices while increasing funding for the National Institutes of Health passed the House last year, and Upton expects the Senate to start moving parts of it next week. It’s found new momentum since President Obama called for an initiative to cure cancer during his State of the Union. Upton says the president has already set up a committee to pursue that “moonshot.”
“It’s chaired by Vice President Biden,” Upton told WSJM. “He and I chatted earlier this week. They had their first meeting Monday, and I pledged my support to help. I think this is an initiative that ought to be included in our 21st Century Cures legislation.”
Upton says the cancer moonshot can be rolled into one comprehensive piece of legislation with 21st Century Cures. He can even see a bill being sent to the president’s desk by Memorial Day. However, many Senate Republicans remain unhappy with the plan’s proposed spending increases.
Read the story online here.